Cryopreservation of epididymal sperm is an effective technique to preserve genetic materials of domestic cats and wild felids when they unexpectedly die. However, this technique inevitably causes detrimental changes of cryopreserved-thawed spermatozoa, for example, by physical damage and excessive oxidative stress. L-carnitine is an antioxidant that has been used to improve sperm motility in humans and domestic animals. This study aimed to investigate the effects of L-carnitine on cat epididymal sperm quality following cryopreservation and thawing. After routine castration, cauda epididymides were collected from 60 cat testes. The epididymal spermatozoa from 3 cauda epididymides were pooled as 1 replicate. Spermatozoa samples (16 replicates) were examined for spermatozoa quality and then randomly divided into 4 groups: 0 mM L-carnitine (control), 12.5 mM, 25 mM and 50 mM L-carnitine. The sperm aliquots were then equilibrated and conventionally frozen. After thawing, sperm motility, plasma membrane integrity, DNA integrity and acrosome integrity were evaluated. The 25 mM L-carnitine significantly improved sperm motility compared with a control group (p<0.05), although this was not significantly different among other concentrations. In conclusion, supplementation of 25 mM L-carnitine in freezing extender improves cauda epididymal spermatozoa motility. The effects of L-carnitine on the levels of oxidative stress during freezing and thawing remains to be examined.
Issn1011-2367 (Print) 1976-5517 (Electronic)
JournaltitleAsian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences